Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Ode to Studded Tires

The rain started so nice.
What was once water is ice.
Without them I'd really think twice.
Confident in my studs I press on.

Sleet is stinging my face.
I keep a moderate pace.
It's a commute not a race.
Confident in my studs I press on.

The temperature's now below freezing.
The fluffy white snowflakes are pleasing.
The weather's not mean, it's just teasing.
Confident in my studs I press on.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

The second day on the new steed "Pegasus".  I'm starting to get use to the horse like size of the 29er.  I took the long way in today.  Almost 2 hours or riding before work!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

A nice pillar of light was coming down from the sky this morning.

I saw 4 deer in 2 different locations today.  They seemed happy that hunting season was over. 

19 degrees.  

This morning's ride was on my ridged bike through the trails because my mountain bike is in the shop for suspension work.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

Dawn commute through the woods.  Sixteen degrees, Two deer, Zero hunters.  Hunting season is over!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

Nice fall colors today.  It's too bad that the camera can't capture them as vivid as they were.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Downeast Cyclocross 2012

I'd have to admit I was a little intimidated to try this race after watching it the day before.  $45 and a minor injury later here I am after riding a test lap.  Armed with a bike that is capable of doing this race but not the most competitive.  I'm a little worried about my Nashbar Comfort Road Road Tires.  They look like a small block off road tire so what the heck!

20 minutes later here I am.  I'm the one ALL the way at the beck of the pack to the very right of the picture.
 I'd have to say this was one of the most difficult events I've participated in...and one of the most satisfying.

At this point I've started to get a little muddy.

OK, more than started.

 Three laps and about 8.5 miles of grass, mud pits, roots, and huffing and puffing I'm at the finish.

 Actually pretty glad they called it before I had to put in another lap.  Finished 18 out of about 32 in my category and got to pass a few more, life it good..
Videos to come?

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Dempsey Challenged

Thank You 
To all of those who donated to the cause.  In all I raised $1220 + $75 entry fee and Kelly raised $275 + $75.  The total amount raised through this event was over $1,200,000.

The combination of the cold weather and a heavy bike made this a challenging century for me.  After waking up at 4:45 we made it to the start where it was 38 degrees and raining.  The first 10 miles were soggy but not too bad. By mile 70 I was feeling pretty cooked, sore knees, tired muscles and some cramping legs but they had hot chicken broth at the rest stop.  After 2 cups of that I was ready to go.  I finished in about 7 hours with 6 1/5 hours of riding time. 

Kelly did the 50 mile ride like a champ.  Without much previous training she finished strong.

The following is a sad and heartwarming story that came out a few days before the challenge.  It sums up what The Dempsey Center is all about.  Angela Black had breast cancer and was planning on doing the Dempsey Challenge this year before she died of cancer on August 16. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

The extra climb up Tarklin Hill Road was worth it.

Egypt road had an interesting look to it too.

The colors along "the meadow" are nice.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Five Bikes In Five Days (take 2)

Univega Monday
Took the old friend out for the first ride of the week.  Instead of riding home I made a 37 mile trip to the family garden.

 Bridgstone Tuesday
With the chance of rain it was a good day to dust off the rain bike.  It's only been out a few times all summer.

Surly Wednesday
At this point I decided to go for 5 in 5 so I took the Cross Check which let me use a shortcut that has a few miles of dirt road.

Scott Thursday
I really haven't ridden my lightest and fastest bike much.  I must have turned away from the direct route to work 5 times before deciding if I do it once more I'll be late.

GT Friday
Friday's ride home included a 2 mile singletrack detour at Libby Hill Trails with a friend.  On the way home I had an overly enthusiastic downhill section that resulted in a double pinch flat.  New tube time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Donate 5 Bucks to Make Me Work Harder

New Goals!
 Donate Here
I originally posted The Experiment back in March to see if people I barely know would donate 5 bucks to make me ride my
Heavy Steel Commuter
If I raise $2500

Full Suspension Mountain Bike
If I raise $5000

for a 100 mile ride all in the name of charity.

So far the answer has been no.  This is my second plea now that the event is closer.

When I originally posted it I believed that the power of social networking and a really donation amount might actually raise a lot of money for a good cause, now I'm not so sure.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Great Adventure Challenge

This was my first official triathlon but with a twist on the normal events.  Kayak, Mountain Bike, Hike

First came a 2.5mile kayaking leg with about 100 boats at the start line.  Kelly and I were the only ones using sit-on-top kayaks and about 5 minutes into the race we knew why.  We were paddling just as hard as some of the others but found ourselves in the back third of the pack.

 At the end of the two and a half miles I was about 70th and Kelly was a little bit behind me.  Next year I'll be in a faster kayak for sure.

Second a 16+ mile mountain bike ride over mixed terrain with some light technical stuff but nothing too bad - perfect!  I started out easy on the bike portion passing a few people on the road section, mostly on short climbs.  It seemed like I was on par with a good portion of the other riders.  I caught and rode with another rider for a while and he let me take the lead position before we headed into the woods.  Now the fun begins.  The trails were a X-country style double track with lots of muddy spots from the heavy rain the night before.  I picked off a few dozen riders in the first woods section before we hit some dirt roads.  As I approached the front of the pack the distance between riders became further and further and I could see by the tire tracks that there were only a handful of bikes ahead of me.  At the last checkpoint I inquired and found out I was 7th and I managed to shrink that down to 3rd by the end of the bike portion despite my one crash of the race.  Going down a wet wooded section my tire skidded along a downed tree parallel to the trail.  Next year, well, I'm going to do it just the same way.  I've got no regrets about my bike leg performance.
My bike to hike transition time was on the slow side, probably 2+ minutes while I changed into my hiking boots.  The boots were a mistake.  They take longer to tie than sneakers and on the downhill my toes were jammed into the front of them like you read about.  Next year it is either sneakers or I may try it in my biking shoes and avoid the whole transition time.

I started the the 1 mile, 1200 foot climb like everybody else at a light jog and like everybody else I abandon that idea the moment the trail started going up.  OK, there were a few that broke into a jog along the climb but I wasn't one of them. 
I crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 24 minutes +- which put me in 3rd place in my 35+ age group.

Kelly had her share of mishaps on the course and finished in about 3 hours, 30 minutes.  All and all, not bad for somebody that has only mountain biked less than 10 times in her life.  People continued to stream in over the next hour or so.

In the end, a good time was had by all.  I can't wait until next year's race!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saco River Olympics 2012

The first quinquennial Saco River Olympics were held this year. Participation levels were excellent and there were a few surprise outcomes.  Unfortunately the swimming and kayaking events were canceled due to time and weather conditions. 
Outhouse dash
A spirited run from the picnic table in the campsite, up a hill, sharp left turn to the outhouse and back. 
Name/Time (seconds)
Wendy (barefoot with baby)/46.00  (Very honorable mention)

Alas, there were no pictures from this event

1.1 Mile Loop (running)
A run over a slightly rolling packed and loose gravel road.
Name/Time (min:sec)
Lee/16:13 -dog poo time

2.2 Mile Bike Race
Two laps of the running race competed in several heats.
Name/Time (min:sec)
Naomi (first lap)/8:00
Naomi (second lap after break)/7:10 (Woo Hoo - first time on a bike in a long time)

100m Dash (on road)
Group start dash.
Name/Time (approximate, in seconds)
Kelly/15 Oh Yeah!  Let's do that 422 times (marathon distance) and then see who's in first place!

Jump Roping
Best of 2, any style based on number of successful jumps.  In this exciting event Kelly seemed to have it locked up with 204 jumps.  Rose went last and STUMBLED on jump 203!  She recovered and went on to take the gold.

Name/Number of Rotations
Naomi/15 (I'm pretty sure she did more than Adam at one point)

River Hunting
Judged on usefulness, quality and quantity.
Place/Name/Items found
1st/Brian/Nice Aviators, Nice Pair of Flip Flops, Nice exercise Headband
2nd/Rose/Boston Celtics Hat, Rubber Bungee with rusted hooks, dirty but nice headband, broken sunglasses, retrieved nice sunglasses that Tom initially spotted
3rd/Kelly/Nice half of a clampy tie down thing
4th/Lee/3 bungees & huge kinda broken aviators 
5th/Tom/Spotted, but did not retrieve, sunglasses
Mountain Climbing (1.25 mile / 1200 foot)
Limited entry event.  A tough climb up a steep and technical trail.  Times are based on the trip up the mountain.  Return times were similar for all athletes but not recorded.
1. Brian - 27:10 (Still recovering on Wednesday)
2. Pedro - 34:40
3. Kelly - 34:55
(Stock Photo, Not only did we not take pictures but we were in the clouds)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Epic Cross Bike Trek

Well, maybe not "Epic" but it tired me out. 

I had the first weekend day that was totally uncommitted in recent memory do I decided to do a training ride for The Dempsey Challenge: Donate Here.  I left at 10:20 on the cross bike with the goal of about 60 miles including some dirt "roads" that I couldn't do on a road bike.  I also wanted to do a reasonable amount of climbing.  It all seemed reasonable for a day that was forecast to be 92 and muggy.

My first stop was atop Hacker Hill on Quaker Ridge where I was treated to somebody playing native American flutes and nobody else.  It sounded like this but with more nature sounds.
I continued on to a road that google maps gave as driving directions.  I knew there were no real roads in the area but I expected something dirt.  Nope, not a road, barely a trail, more of a dry stream bed.  So I hiked about 1mile through the woods with my bike.  The next adventure would be Edes Falls Road between Casco and Edes Falls.  This was another road I that Google shows as traversable but I was expecting something like unimproved dirt.  Again my expectations were too high but I did find Jugtown Forest.  I should have actually stopped to read the signs because I came back out about 1/8 mile away from where I entered.  Instead of trying it again I decided to take a longer loop through Otisfield.  One more time I took roads I knew to be dirt and this time they actually were dirt roads.  I ended up at Schribners Mill.
After a short climb out of the valley I got an opertunity to dig a piece of wire out of my tire and try my new pump.
Next stop, Edes Falls.

I continued on to Gary and Cindy's to get my water bottles filled with water and lemonaid and I was off.  Through Sebago lake state park and then onto another dirt road to connect with Douglas hill.  This road I had been on before and it was just as I remembered it - awful.  The "Not Maintained for Winter Use" signs are always a clue.  After some more climbing I got to Douglas Mountain and climbed to the top with my bike. 

This would be the picture from the top if my phone battery hadn't died

At this point most of my climbing was done which was good because most of my energy was gone too.  I had an easy ride down to Grandma's camp for a swim, 1/4 teaspoon of salt more water and lemonade and some fruit.  After about 1/2 hour visit I decided that it was time to leave before I stiffened up too much.  Putting the shoes back on wasn't my favorite part of the day.   At least the 20 miles ahead of me seemed like I was almost home, perspective has a funny way about it.

When the trip was over I'd gone about 75 miles including over a mile of vertical rise.  With the hiking and dirt roads it was actually more challenging than my 100 mile Dempsey Challenge rides.  And it was about half the distance at half the speed with a lot more stops than the people riding Le Tour.  Kind of like looking up at the stars and realizing how small you are (even if you are fat).